Great nights in the downtown Barrie bar and club scene can have you craving a little silence, and wishing for outdoor activities that will let you reconnect with the world around you. Make your way to Collingwood’s Scenic Caves guided night time snowshoe adventure, and allow yourself to take a moment to breath in the silence. It’s easy to slow down when you have snowshoes on your feet.
There’s more to Collingwood than just than just ski hills. Many of us know the magic of the Scenic Caves in the summer, when the caverns offer us a cool and invigorating break from the intense sunlight and heat that bathe Barrie and Simcoe County.
But the Scenic Caves also offer an excellent experience in the winter, too. Tap into history and put on a pair of iconic Canadian gear: snowshoes. Hearing the whisper of the winter wind or catching sight of a shadow made by the moon in the trees – these are reasons why a night-time hike is just that more invigorating.
Outdoor Events in the Niagara Escarpment
Located on the Niagara Escarpment, the Scenic Caves are a trip back in time, as the cliffs and caves formed from the life-filled Michigan Sea. The Escarpment began its slow rise over 250 million years ago – and Saturday nights in March, you can see some incredible views of what Nature has created as you hike along woodland paths, through open fields and down to a suspension footbridge, where you can stop and take in the breathtaking view of Georgian Bay.
Rather than the gracefulness of sailboats in the distance on Georgian Bay, in winter we see snow-covered hills, the frozen-over bay and communities lit up and their architecture and streetscapes from above covered in snow and ice. Tune yourself into nature by the light of the moon as an experienced guide leads the 4-km snowshoe hike and helps you discover the mystery and magic on a winter evening.
In the 1.5 to 2-hour outdoor adventure, you will see and experience colours differently, as the magic of subtle shades of grey and white accentuate the architecture of the forest, with bare deciduous trees standing tall and graceful and in contrast with the angles of the evergreens. Up close, the evergreens will soften with snow in the moonlight.
Things to do in Simcoe County with a Historical Flair
This is the setting for the time-travelling adventure your snowshoe hike guide will share with you. In this outdoor adventure in Simcoe County, step back in the footsteps of a coureur des bois – one of the first European fur traders – as you explore the terrain and hear about Indigenous legends about the caves, including a sacred rock that marks the path to the Village of the Souls.
Depending on where you stand, you might see an image of a sleepy bear or a tired old man emerging from the rocky crag. From another vantage point, it could be a bear or an owl that takes shape. Your imagination is your best sense, followed by your hearing in the nighttime, but rest assured, your guide will keep you safe as you explore.
The moon, as clouds pass by, will create more shadows as you escape the stress of the day. As your guide leads you along scenic trails, they will share stories and points out the tracks of porcupines, deer, rabbits and racoons as they wrap up their day and settle in for the night. It’s a time-limited outdoor event that will be gone when the snow starts to melt. Its peacefulness can’t be seen or felt in any other season.
Work up an Appetite with Fun Outdoor Activities
At the end of the hike, warm up with a hot chocolate or cider in the main cabin. On your way back to Barrie, there are lots of places to stop for a later dinner or snack; after all, you’ve worked up an appetite and burned a lot of calories!
The hikes run Saturday nights, as well as Wednesday and Friday evening during March Break, March. 13 and March 15. Visit the Scenic Caves website to learn more.
We can look forward to brighter, longer and warmer days very soon. Quiet and peaceful, the guided snowshoe hikes are a magical experience that engages the senses and helps you settle in for a good winter night’s rest. Don’t let this adventure pass you by!